Many of us remember a time when you had only your work computer and home computer, your work phone and your home phone. That was in a time when devices were far less mobile. Today, we bring our devices with us everywhere we go, from laptops and tablets to smartphones and other devices.
As a result, more businesses than ever before are seeing a crossover between work and personal devices. Checking your work email on your personal phone is considered normal. In other cases, employees use their personal laptops for all of their work. However, it can also lead to issues for a business if there aren’t policies in place. A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy can help minimize risks and maximize efficiencies for both your business and your employees.
What is a BYOD Policy?
A BYOD policy authorizes your employees to use their personal devices for business reasons (often for specific tasks and with restrictions). Though every BYOD policy is different, it generally entails allowing your team to access work-related information and software from their personal devices. All businesses operate differently, which is why a BYOD policy can be tailored to fit your business’s needs so it works perfectly for your team.
What Are The Benefits of a BYOD Policy?
Many business experts suggest using a BYOD policy, but what does it actually do to help your business?
One of the problems with buying technology for your employees is that it’s often technology they aren’t comfortable using. With their own devices, employees won’t have to take the time to learn how their new device works, saving your business valuable time.
Convenience and Mobility
As a society, we’re constantly on the move with our technology, and the same goes for businesses. One major benefit for businesses that have a BYOD policy is providing employees with convenient access points, no matter where they are. If they’re at a customer’s location, travelling, or working from home, they can easily access the data, communications, and other functions they need.
According to a 2016 survey, over 76% of Canadians own a smartphone. With a BYOD policy, you don’t have to buy technology for all of your employees – most of them will already have their own! Plus, your team is more likely to take better care of their personal devices as compared to a company-bought device, since they’ll have a much closer attachment to their own technology.
Creating a BYOD Policy
Protecting Your Data
The most important part of creating your BYOD policy is ensuring the security of both personal and business data. One of the best ways to do this is to educate your employees on cybersecurity. Employee training and risk management will show your team what security threats look like, and what to do if they encounter one. Monitoring which business apps and accounts employees are allowed to access on their personal devices also minimizes the chances of a data breach or cybercrime. You should also keep an inventory of business and personal devices that are attached to your network to keep track of where your data access points are.
Parameters Around Use
In your policy, you’ll have to outline what is acceptable when it comes to personal devices. This includes choosing which devices are allowed in your network (for example, whether it’s all Android devices or specific iPhone models). You’ll also need to decide what employees will be using their business vs. personal devices for, including when and where each device can be used.
Outline Rules on Passwords and Authentication
Passwords and authentication policies are essential in a BYOD policy. You’ll have to clearly outline these policies for your team. Do they need to have a password or other method of authentication on their personal devices? Should they have multi-factor authentication on apps in order to keep networks secure? Also, be sure to outline the regulations for password resets.
What If an Employee Leaves?
One major concern for businesses with BYOD policies is employee turnover. If an employee leaves your business, it’s important to protect your business information and network access points. For data security, you can monitor the network to keep track of where your information is. You can also restrict user access to networks in order to keep sensitive data off local devices. Finally, you can create policies around the creation of new accounts and passwords to ensure that a personal device is used as an access point only, while your business still has administrative authority over accounts.
Hire IT Management to Keep Your Information Safe
Security is an important issue to keep in mind while writing your BYOD policy. When it comes to an important policy like a BYOD policy, it’s always best to have expert advice. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you set up a fully functional BYOD policy, as well as provide employee training, networking monitoring, and more.